cr> Germany Plans Bill to Punish Internet Indecency



I'll just speak for myself here, because I find myself going beyond
the role of moderator.  It appears that Representative Eshoo has
German counterparts.  While the following bill avoids some of the
pervasive fear that the CDA engenders, there are still plenty of
problems.  What is offensive?  If somebody complains about something
on a newsgroup, hadn't you better censor it in case you get in trouble
later?  And how do censor?  Remove a whole newsgroup because of one
offensive message?  How can you make sure none of the users add a link
to an offensive Web site?



Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 07:08:14 -0800 (PST)
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From: Jay Holovacs <•••@••.•••>
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: News From Germany
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The following is excerpted from Nando News Website, check it out for more 
      Copyright &copy 1996
      Copyright &copy 1996 Reuter Information Service
   BONN (Mar 29, 1996 10:27 a.m. EST) - Germany's justice minister is
   planning a new law making clear companies who provide access to the
   Internet are not expected to police cyberspace on the lookout for
   pornography or neo-Nazi propaganda.
   Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig told reporters on Thursday night that firms who
   offer a link to the worldwide computer network would only be punished
   if they discovered illegal material was available via their service
   and did nothing about it.
   "Someone who opens a door cannot know what the people who walk through
   it are going to be carrying," he said. "And if there were body
   searches for everyone going through your door, people would simply
   choose to go through another."

   Internet regulation has been a particularly prickly issue in Germany.
   Child pornography investigators searched the Munich offices of access
   provider CompuServe in November and found several Internet pages they
   considered illegal.
   Authorities are also investigating several other online services as
   part of a probe into pornographic and neo-Nazi material found on the
   But so far prosecutors have not been able to bring any charges, partly
   because legal experts are unsure where new companies stand under laws
   drafted long before they existed.

Jay Holovacs <•••@••.•••>
PGP Key fingerprint =  AC 29 C8 7A E4 2D 07 27  AE CA 99 4A F6 59 87 90 

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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